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This book popped back into my mind the other day, and I can't for the life of me remember its title or author. The cover was an image of a baby dragon emerging from an egg as a boy watches, amazed.

I don't remember much of the plot, except that it involved a boy of primary-school age obtaining this strange (rainbow-coloured?) egg from somewhere, a baby dragon hatching from the egg, and then the troubles the boy had trying to keep a little dragon as a pet. The story took place in the real world, not a fantasy world, i.e. the existence of a dragon was very remarkable. :)

To clarify after a couple comments: the baby dragon was kitten- or cat-sized for the part of the book I remember; this wasn't a case of a "baby" dragon still being much larger than the boy, D&D-style.

I read this book sometime in the (probably mid-)1990s. I suspect it was published around then, and I may have got it from one of the Scholastic book sales they'd run at my school. Anyway, it was a children's/YA book, not an adult novel.

  • The first thing that leaps to mind doesn't really fit the plot exactly.. But it IS YA, and the cover sounds like what you are describing.. "The Smallest Dragonboy" from the Get Off the Unicorn -- look at the image; it has Keevan, injured and limping, watching as his dragon is born. – K-H-W Nov 26 '17 at 21:59
  • From the top of my head, I can think of multiple children’s books that start with the same premise and were published around the 2000s. Pity is, the only one I remember by name is Dragon Rider. Maybe you can say something more about the colour of the dragon, where in the real world it took place (US? UK?) and so on so that it is easier to identify. – Narusan Nov 26 '17 at 22:03
  • I noticed another question whose answer was The Smallest Dragonboy while writing this one, but, alas, no: I don't remember the book I'm after having a connection to any larger fantasy world like Pern, I'm pretty sure it was standalone. Also, looking at that cover, the scale is reversed: the boy was definitely much larger than the baby dragon. :) – Dan J Nov 26 '17 at 22:15
  • @Narusan Good call - I didn't think to mention the dragon's size, which should rule out a lot of stories. I'm pretty sure the dragon never grew big enough to ride, unless perhaps at the end of the story. Edited the question to clarify. – Dan J Nov 26 '17 at 22:20
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    This is literally the first time I've seen this question pop up in the "Hot Questions" and the answer wasn't "Eregon"... – Taegost Nov 27 '17 at 21:19
28

Probably Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher, by Bruce Coville

cover

From Wikipedia:

Jeremy Thatcher knows a thing or two about raising animals-after all, his dad is a veterinarian. But after he leaves Mr. Elives' magic shop with a strange marbled egg, it soon becomes clear that this is one pet he wasn't prepared for! How is he supposed to keep a flame-breathing dragon with razor-sharp teeth and out-of-control appetite in his bedroom? If the playful baby dragon is ever to grow up to become a magnificent beast of myth and legend, it needs Jeremy. And though he doesn't know it yet, Jeremy needs a dragon.

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    @DanJ: I can't speak for Mark, but Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher is the most famous "modern boy with dragon egg" story I've ever heard of. To the point where upon seeing the title to your question my first thought was "It's probably Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher" before seeing any additional details. – Arcanist Lupus Nov 26 '17 at 23:50
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    Interesting. I must be far removed from the Modern Boy With Dragon Egg community, because I've never seen this book mentioned anywhere since I read it! I'm missing out. – Dan J Nov 26 '17 at 23:55
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    @ArcanistLupus Really?! Not Eragon? I mean, it obviously doesn’t fit the details but it’s easily the most famous book (by sales, media adoption, …) that fits the question’s title. – Konrad Rudolph Nov 27 '17 at 10:55
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    Less well known is the related series about Jeremy Tucker. – Moriarty Nov 28 '17 at 23:54
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    @Moriarty I just saw your comment. Oh, God. XD – Dan J Mar 29 '18 at 2:00
27

Sounds like Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville, the second book in the Magic Shop series.

It involves a boy of primary-school age obtaining a dragon egg from a magic shop.

Sixth-grader Jeremy Thatcher discovers a strange magic shop he has never seen before. He enters, and his life is changed forever. Buying what he thinks is a marble, he discovers he has really purchased a dragon’s egg. (Amazon description)

The egg is rainbow-coloured.

And next to the rings, resting on a kind of pedestal, was a shining, multicolored ball, almost the size of his fist. (JTDH - Chapter One)

The story covers some difficulties raising the dragon.

Don't have a good quote, but the Dragon causes problems, needs food, and while only he can actually see the dragon, others can notice it's effects.

The Dragon starts off kitten size

For most of the book, the dragon is pretty small, but as the book continues the dragon is constantly growing.

The book was published in 1992

One of the covers shows a baby dragon emerging from an egg as a boy watches, amazed.

enter image description here

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    For what it's worth, my copy had the cover on the right. I love the expression of the kid on the left, though, he just looks like "ARE YOU F****** KIDDING ME???" XD – Dan J Nov 26 '17 at 22:32
  • @DanJ - I made some edits to my answer. – ibid Nov 26 '17 at 22:56
  • The caption below the title is hilarious 😂 "Mom, I swear Aliens ate my homework!" – E. Huckabee Nov 27 '17 at 9:35
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    @E.Huckabee "Aliens ate my homework" is a book by the same author. I bought it onceat a school book fair. I don't think I ever read it though (I didn't really want it but we were pressured into buying a book). Aparently it's being made into a film next year. – Pharap Nov 27 '17 at 17:48
  • @Pharap I'm almost certain I read that book, too. Those school book fairs really had an impact, apparently. :) – Dan J Nov 28 '17 at 0:50
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Sounds like Eragon by Christopher Paolini but thats set in a fantasy world & a much later publication.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eragon

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    This is unlikely because it doesn’t take place in the real world, is written later on and the cover doesn’t fit. – Narusan Nov 26 '17 at 22:05
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    Yeah, Christopher Paolini might have read this when he was a child (he's a year younger than I am), but he definitely didn't write it. – Dan J Nov 26 '17 at 22:18
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    Curious you should mention Eragon, as Christopher Paolini has cited this book as one of his main inspirations. – ibid Nov 26 '17 at 22:57

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